October 2016: Htein Lin - Signs of the Times
In this, Htein Lin’s third solo show in River Gallery, we see once again how returning to his homeland has fed his creative spirit, providing an abundance of raw materials for his artworks. In these new works, many of Htein Lin’s favorite themes are on dazzling display, as he reflects on Myanmar’s transition from a pre-industrial agrarian society to one that is fast adopting the trappings of modernity.
Htein Lin finds beauty in the cast-offs, the objects left behind once money and technology invade. He collects these traditional objects and incorporates them into his art to comment on our rapidly changing society. The wooden wagon wheels of his installation cannot turn and move forward as they are not aligned - an apposite metaphor for the struggling reform process of today.
Overcoming adversity is another theme we often encounter with Htein Lin – whether it is from his life experience or reflected in his art practice. In the “Bug” series, he goes one step further: showing not only how to make the best of a bad situation, (termites made holes in some of his favorite paintings), but how a disaster can be turned into a triumph, destruction into new and splendid creation.
In this exhibition, we will travel with Htein Lin’s ambivalence about material progress. With his gently provocative works, he helps us to step back and reflect on what we might be losing for the sake of progress. At the same time, he encourages us to embrace the cycle of destruction and creation, subjecting ourselves to the often painful experience of loss, to make the space for new beginnings.
Here is the e-catalogue for show: